reading

D is for Death Scenes

adult_human_skull_-_asian_male_thumbnail__60388.1530765307.500.659Death scenes should be meaningful, yes? I think so. If not meaningful, they should at least be memorable. They stick with you. Maybe you return to it, over and over again in some fashion.

These are some of the most memorable death scenes I recall.

  1. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. I read this book over and over again in childhood. The death of Charlotte – the first time I heard it, it was very shocking. Less shocking, obviously, the second and third and fourth time I reread it. But I think her death is one of the reasons why I reread this book so often.
  2. Sergeant Bothari from the Miles Vorkosigan books. He was both a rapist, and if I remember the books right, a victim of rape. He was a torturer and also mentally disabled. He also protected Miles throughout his childhood. Yet I feel his death was just. Perhaps his life is a tragedy, always heading that since birth.
  3. Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife. I had a lot of problems with this book, but for some reason Henry’s death sticks out in my mind. Henry loses his feet and then is shot to death while time traveling by his wife’s brother. His death seems more memorable to me then the whole book.  Which is a bit odd, I suppose.
  4. Rue from the Hunger Games. Really, there were a lot of deaths in this series, but who can forget this scene? And how important it was to the rest of the series?
  5. Dorothea from Black Jewels. Anne Bishop does revenge really, really well. Dorothea is enemy number one in this series and her death was perfect.
reading · science fiction · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Diplomatic Immunity

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is a reread and one of my favorite books ever.

My Teasers:

They had long agreed they would celebrate the date by starting the children in their uterine replicators. The debate had never been about when, just how many. He still thought his suggestion of doing them all at once had an admirable efficiency. He’d never been serious about twelve; he’d just figured to start with that proposition, and fall back to six.

– Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold

General · science fiction · Writing

Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells: You Are A Writer

I was reading The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells by Ben Bova and this quote from Ernest Hemingway jumped out at me:

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that it all happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.

I think this is the best idea of what makes a writer that I have ever seen. That it comes from a writer whose works I don’t usually enjoy strikes me as odd.

I think this is the ideal. You want all that, you want the reader to feel the story so deeply that they don’t forgot, so deeply that they come back to the story over and over again.You want the reader to get lost in the story and never want to leave. You want the reader to care deeply about the character’s sorrow and joy.

I also think it’s incredibly rare and that stories that do this won’t be the same from everyone. It’s too subjective.

Even so. I think to feel that way, you need a character you really connect to. I mean, as a reader I know I do. If a book doesn’t have a character I like, it’s very hard for me to read it. (This is why Game of Thrones remains unread on my kindle.)

And by connecting, I don’t mean the reader has to see themselves in the character. I really, really don’t see myself in Eve Dallas, Jaenelle Angelline or Miles Vorkosigan – three characters I love most and series I reread frequently. But I still connect, I still sympathize with them and I still like spending time with them.

fantasy · General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Cetaganda

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

“Ivan . . . left with a lady.”

“What, again? Here? Now? Does the boy have no sense of time or place? This isn’t Emperor Gregor’s Birthday Party, dammit.”

– Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

reading · science fiction

Dreaming About Your Favorite Characters

You know you are a fan when you find yourself dreaming about your favorite characters. I dreamed about Miles Vorkosigan, bombs and secrets yesterday.

Miles Vorkosigan is the lead character in space opera series by Lois McMaster Bujold. His father died in the last book and Miles became Count in his place. Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorite authors and I love love this series.

In my dream, someone was throwing bombs at Miles and chasing him down a shiny silver hallway. Than he was with the Council of Counts, defending himself against some charge.

The charge came about because the King (Gregor) declassified some of his earlier escapades. There was a resulting public outcry and some of his fellow Counts (the dream didn’t tell me who! Bad dream!) was using his blackops assignments to discredit him. This part I knew the way you know stuff in dreams.

I have dreamed about my own characters before, but I’ve never dreamed about other people’s characters. Has anyone else? It is strange. All I have to say if I am dreaming up Miles Vorkosigan stories on my own, I really really want a new one to read.

Are you listening, Lois McMaster Bujold? Could you please write a new Miles book? I like your fantasy stuff, but they really don’t compare to the Miles Vor series!